The line between laptop and tablet is getting blurrier and blurrier, and 2020 is the year that’s blurred the line the most. See below for amazing deals on the best and newest tablets.
Apple iPad Mini
Apple updated the iPad Mini in spring 2019 after almost four years of all but ignoring its existence. The long wait paid off, however, with Apple delivering a 7.9-inch tablet that not only tops our ratings of sub-8-inch tablets but also does so with a huge amount of daylight between it and its nearest-scoring competitors. If there’s one area where the iPad Mini falls short-and that’s a big if-it’s that you’ll have to buy adapters to connect common peripherals like SD cards (for loading digital photos) or a big-screen TV via HDMI. Our testers also note that unlike with certain Android tablets, there’s no way to have multiple accounts on a single iPad Mini (or any iPad, for that matter). That could be annoying if you intend to share the tablet with a spouse or child, for example.
Samsung Galaxy Tab A 8.0
For those who prefer to use Android OS, this 8-inch tablet also earned a recommended rating from our testers, who found a lot to like in the 2019 refresh. For one thing, they noted the long battery life (nearly 14 hours). While the display isn’t quite as sharp as that on the iPad Mini, lacking contrast and the vibrant colors found on other displays, the Tab A still performs like a high-end tablet without the high-end price.
Apple iPad Air
Apple recently resurrected the name “iPad Air” for this 10.5-inch tablet that sits just below the 2018 iPad Pro in terms of features and performance. As with the Pro, our testers had very little to complain about when it comes to the Air. It’s fast and light, and it has a display that’s sharp and accurately reproduces color. So what makes the Air an Air instead of a Pro? For starters, it’s ever so slightly smaller than the 11-inch Pro, but when you’re immersed in apps like Netflix and Safari, you’ll barely notice the difference. And while the Air has two built-in speakers to the Pro’s four, you’re almost certainly better off using a decent pair of headphones regardless of your model choice. And finally, the Air’s display runs at a slower refresh rate than the Pro’s, which means certain animations (particularly scrolling text) may appear to be smoother on the Pro.
Apple refreshed its base iPad just one year after releasing the sixth-generation model. What’s different? You get more screen-10.2 inches vs. 9.7 on the 2018 iPad. The new model also supports Apple’s Smart Keyboard cover, a physical keyboard that magnetically clips onto the tablet. Unlike a Bluetooth keyboard, this one doesn’t require charging or pairing, which comes in handy when you frequently use your iPad for emailing and word-processing tasks.